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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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I would like to ask, for what reason have they departed from that perfectly
explicit statement of their views ? There was further, the Anglo-Polish
Treaty made on 25th August, 1939, as a result of which we came into the
war. I would like to ask my right hon. Friend a further question on this
Treaty. Some of us know that there was an unpublished protocol to that
Treaty, a protocol I have seen with my own eyes. It did not come into ray
hands from any Polish source, there was no breach of faith on the part of
anyone. That protocol, if I read it correctly, and I believe I did, further
reinforces the obligation of His Majesty's Government to the Polish nation.
... In addition, we have the Atlantic Charter . . . The Prime Minister, in
his interpretation of the Atlantic Charter to-day, got the wording all wrong.
It was not at all what the Atlantic Charter says. It says that they, that is,
the high contracting parties, ' desire to see no territorial changes that do
not accord with the freely-expressed wishes of the people concerned.'
How can the peoples freely express their wishes on the question of frontiers
or Governments ? They can only do so by means of free elections, net free
elections under a regime which would only allow one party to offer them-
selves for election, but free elections as we understand them in this countty—
that is the only way, to my mind, in which we are to fulfil not the spirit but
the actual terms of the Atlantic Charter, and can allow any part of Europe
to be changed except, of course, enemy countries.
" I come to the Curzon Line because I believe that relations have, un-
fortunately, steadily deteriorated in the last few months since the mention
of the Curzon Line. We only heard of that immediately after the Conference
at Teheran, when the Prime Minister, for the first time, in my opinion
highly unfortunately, made mention of the Curzon Line in the House of
Commons. What is the Curzon Line ? If you go about talking to people
outside this House who ought to be quite well informed, they have the idea
from this name that it must be something respectable, an honest Conserva-
tive view given by an honest Conservative statesman, as to where a line of
demarcation between Poland and Russia should be drawn. What wTas the
Curzon Line ? It was on 8th December, 1919, that the Supreme Allied
Council in Paris made this declaration, in view of the chaos in Eastern
Europe and the fighting on the Polish frontiers as the result of all kinds of
terrible results coming from the war. They thought it best to make a
declaration that the Polish Government then in being should have the right
to form a Government and administer territory up to a certain suggested line.
" I would draw the attention of the House to this : There was a very dis-
tinct proviso., which I can quote in the original French, if anybody would
like me to do so, which said that that line up to which the Polish Govern-
ment was entitled to take over and administer the territory was without
prejudice to the ultimate stipulations which will fix the definite Eastern
frontiers of Poland. The Russian Polish war went on for some time until
MX. Grabski in 1920 agreed to sign an immediate armistice on the basis that
* the Polish Army retires to and stands on the line fixed by the Peace
Conference *—that was the declaration of 8th December, 1919, as the
adrninistrative boundary up to which the then Polish Government was
allowed to operate—4 as the provisional boundary of Polish administration ;
and that the Soviet Armies halt fifty kilometres to the east of that line.'
As a result of that, the next day His Majesty's Government made a proposal
to Russia, the terms of which are now being considered by the House.
" It seems to make it perfectly plain that, at every stage, the Curzon Line
was nothing more or less than an armistice line, and the statement of the
Allied Powers in 1919 made it clear that this boundary which was roughly
the Curzon Line up to which the Polish Government were allowed to take